The Netherlands / Monument

Monument for the Suffolk Liberators at the Weert City Bridge




The monument was erected in honour of the British Suffolk Regiment that liberated Weert on 22 September 1944.

In September 2002, a monument was unveiled at the city bridge in honour and grateful memory of the British Suffolk Regiment that liberated Weert on 22 September 1944. The monument replaced the blue metal plaque that had been hanging on the wall of the bridge tender's house of the city bridge for many years. The monument was unveiled in the presence of veterans of the Suffolk Regiment.

On 3 September 1944, Radio Oranje (Radio Orange, the radio station of the Dutch government in exile in London), reported the liberation of Brussels. Everywhere in the Netherlands, people assumed that liberation was near at hand. Dolle Dinsdag (Mad Tuesday) underlined this optimism even more. Soon, however, a swift liberation proved to be an illusion for the best part of the Netherlands, but expectations in Weert were more realistic. The roar of cannons from Belgium could be heard every day. On Tuesday, 21 September 1944, the tension was extremely high. That morning, soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the British Suffolk Regiment had left Hamont in Belgium and were on their way to Weert. At the end of the afternoon, fights broke out west of the railway embankment towards Eindhoven. Not much later, the prayers in the air-raid shelter were drowned by explosions coming from nearby, from the direction of the Zuid-Willemsvaart. German troops had just blown up the Biester bridge, the city bridge, the railway bridge and the bridge at Lock XVI, and a red glow against the nocturnal sky told of a fire in the barracks behind the Van Horne barracks.

During the night, all remained quiet, both the British and the German troops were waiting for a possible attack. Weert had become a no-man's-land, until the German soldiers withdrew behind the Wassem-Nederweert canal.

At first daylight, the British troops resumed their advance. They did not meet with much opposition anymore. Soon, the entire city was liberated, followed by an exuberant celebration. Citizens dressed in orange and waved the Dutch national flag. The British were given a warm welcome and were greeted with cheers by the grateful local population.